All Marawi-assigned SAF troopers promoted one rank

Rambo Talabong

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All Marawi-assigned SAF troopers promoted one rank

Inoue Jaena

(UPDATED) It will be done by virtue of 'meritorious promotion,' says PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

BACK FROM BATTLE. About 160 members of Philippine National Police-Special Action Forces arrive at Pier 4 of North Port in Manila on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, after months of fighting against local terrorists in Marawi City. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – All troopers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) who were sent to Marawi City to help in flushing out local terrorists will be promoted one rank higher.

No less than PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made the announcement during the Heroes’ Welcome Ceremony for the troopers on Wednesday, October 25, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

“Except dito sa mga (for the) superintendent[s], all others na nag-join sa Marawi (who joined in Marawi), I am hereby meritoriously promoting you one rank higher,” Dela Rosa said, with 182 present SAF troopers erupting in cheers.

A total of 496 SAF troopers were deployed in Marawi. (READ: The war in Marawi: 153 days and more)

(Except for our superintendents, all others who joined in Marawi, I am hereby meritoriously promoting you one rank higher.)

Cops with at least a superintendent rank cannot rise a rank, as their promotions can only be ordered by the Commander-in-chief himself: President Rodrigo Duterte.

Dela Rosa lamented that he cannot promote them himself, but he gave them his assurance that they are already “audited” for promotion. They just need to follow the process.

Pasensya na yung mga superintendent pero kung meron man akong pasasalamatan, ay kayo talaga because you led your troops very well,” Dela Rosa said. (I apologize to the superintendents. But I really thank you for leading our troops well.)

On top of the elevation, Dela Rosa mentioned that a one-month break is in the works for troops fresh from the battle. (READ: No HK for SAF troopers? Dela Rosa promises them bulalo in Tagaytay)

He initially hesitated, the top cop admitted, because of the coming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, but he was given assurances by SAF leaders that they can manage without the Marawi contingent. 

This comes after the Philippine government triumphed over homegrown terror groups in the Marawi City siege after  5 months intense fighting which emptied the city of its people.

The victory came with a price for government fighters too, losing 165 companions to the battle. Of them, 4 were SAF troopers. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.